Sunday, July 17, 2011


We were finally taken to our new home in Afriline,which is the old UN housing left from the Rwanda civil war in the 1990's.  Most people who live here work for the District Office, which is like county government.  Some ministry officials were staying in our assigned house, here to investigate 6 killings of Rwanda shepherds who apparently wandered into Tanzania looking for better grazing land.  There is a river that separates the two countries, so that could not have been accidental.

Our temporary house has a porch along the whole back side that overlooks the valley.  I was loathe to leave it but most of the lights did not work so we had to use candle and flashlights.  Also no hot water, mosquito nets, or place to cook.  The next day we were supposed to move into our regular housing, but an inspection showed the bathroom, living room and bedrooms were flooded with water.  The MP brought some plumbers in from town but no leak could be found.  They made a list of supplies they would need to upgrade the unit with hot water and good water pressure.  We also insisted on mosquito nets and cooking facilites, per our contract.  Refrigeration and washing machines will have to wait till we get back in the USA.

The MP took us to the market and bought us a kerosene stove, which looks like a camp stove and takes an hour to boil water.  We purchased basic cooking supplies, like pots, dishes, eating utensils, etc which set us back over $100.  We tried to cook dinner but it took 1 1/2 hours to boil some potatoes so we kind of gave up on that and made tomato and potato salad.  We are living on peanut butter sandwiches and bananas.  We buy plastic bottles of drinking water and cart them the half mile up the dirt road to our compound.  This makes me cringe because there is no plastic recycling here.  We have to BURN the bottles.  Great for the air quality, I am sure.

Another shock was that the only bank in town will only accept Tanzanian ATM cards.  The MP introduced us to the bank manager, who cashed some American dollars for us, but to access an ATM we will have to go to Mwanza on Lake Victoria, an 8 hour bus ride away.

We are told that the plumber, mosquito nets, and better cooking equipment will have to wait until the budget is passed, "maybe next week."  Meanwhile I  feel like I am sleeping in a shroud as I pull the sheets over my head and listen to the whine of mosquitos at night and have no time to make morning coffee the next day to cheer me up as school starts at 7:45 a.m.

The internet cafe has been either closed or not working when I have been there.  Modems don't seem to work here, so sorry for the delay.

No comments:

Post a Comment